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Author Information - Scottish Journal of Geology

ScopeKey points | Submission | Page format | Colour charges | Open access | Book Reviews | Discussions | Refereeing and editing | Production | Offprints | Keeping in touch

Scope of the journal

Traditionally, the Journal has acted as the focus for papers on all aspects of Scottish geology and its contiguous areas, including the surrounding seas. The publication policy has always been outward looking, with the Editors encouraging review papers and papers on broader aspects of the earth sciences that cannot be discussed solely in terms of Scottish geology.

Article types in this journal are research articles and book reviews.

Key points to consider before you submit

Preparing your paper
Guidelines for preparing text and illustrations can be found in the box to the right of this page. Those apply to all GSL publications. Detail of page size, colour and Open Access costs, which are specific to this journal are below.

We welcome papers from authors in all countries, but if you are not fluent in English please seek assistance before submission. There are resources for authors here, some of which are written in other languages.


We expect all authors, reviewers and editors to comply with the Society’s Code of Publishing Ethics. Please ensure that you have read, understood and complied with this, particularly the sections on authors and sample collection. You will be asked to confirm this when you submit your paper.

Submission or publication elsewhere is not acceptable while your paper is under consideration for Scottish Journal of Geology. Dual submission and publication are serious breaches of widely accepted publishing ethics.

The Society is now gathering information on the role of each author on submitted papers. We are using the CRediT taxonomy developed by CASRAI: This information is for internal use and is not currently published.

The Society’s policy on corrections and retractions can be found here.

Publishing agreement and terms of use
If your paper is accepted you (or your employer) will be required to grant the Publisher an exclusive licence to publish and accept the terms and conditions for use of your final PDF.

  • You can reuse your figures and data without permission
  • You can post your original version at any time
  • You can post the refereed manuscript version 12 months after publication
  • You can pay to make your paper Open Access (see below)
  • You cannot post the final PDF or proofs at any time unless you have paid for Open Access
More information on the licence can be found here.
More information on reusing your material can be found here.
If you have not already done so, we encourage you to register for an ORCID iD. You can use your iD to log into our submission system. More information can be found on the ORCID website.

Scope and article types
The primary aim of Scottish Journal of Geology is to publish papers relevant to the geology of Scotland and adjacent areas including the surrounding seas. Papers of general or specialist interest as well as short communications, letters to the editor and discussions of earlier papers are welcome, together with reviews and thematic sets publishing the results of relevant meetings and conferences.


All submissions to Scottish Journal of Geology should be made online via Full instructions and a tutorial can be found within that site.

Before submitting a manuscript, it is recommended that you have the following to hand:

  • all authors' first, middle names/initials and last names
  • all authors' email addresses
  • the role of each contributor in preparing the paper (see:
  • manuscript files in Word, RTF or Latex formats (please add line numbers)
  • tables in XLS, CSV or DOC formats
  • figures/images no greater than 5MB in PDF format (TIF, EPS or JPG formats are acceptable; see note on file size and type)
  • supplementary data files
  • covering letter (which the referees will see)
  • abstracts of any related papers that you have in press or in review.
It is a good idea to put all your files in one folder (and zip it if it is large).

Note that there is a file-size limit of 5 MB to keep the merged PDFs manageable for editing and review. If your files are bigger, please make smaller versions for review and we will request the high-resolution files off-system when your paper is accepted. We recommend images are initially submitted as PDF files as these tend to reproduce well in the merged pdf for the review process. EPS, TIFF or JPG files are also acceptable but images sometimes do not appear very clear in the merged pdf that is produced for peer review. Higher resolution images (as TIF, EPS, JPG or PDF) greater than 5MB can be provided after acceptance

The submission package will guide you through the processes for submitting your files and confirmation/approval.

Normally papers should not exceed 12 typeset pages, including references, tables and figures: there are c. 1000 words on a printed page. Don't forget to make an allowance for figures and tables, and allow a quarter page for the title, authors and affiliations.

Papers should be arranged as follows:
  • Title: brief and specific; followed by name(s) and address(es) of authors(including email address of corresponding author)
  • Abstract: this must be intelligible without reference to the paper, and should not exceed 200 words. Figures are not allowed in the Abstract
  • Main body of paper: subdivided into 1st, 2nd and 3rd order headings; omit heading 'Introduction'
  • Acknowledgements (and funding)
  • Appendices: see Supplementary Data
  • References: in full; authors' names must be keyed as capitals and lower case
  • Tables
  • Figure captions
  • Figures (10 MB maximum) in separate files.

Page format

Please submit the paper as single column double-line spaced text, line numbers down the left hand side are useful for reviewing purposes. Place every Figure and Table on separate pages along with the accompanying caption.

In the final typeset version the main text is in double column format. Final printed page size: 297 mm deep by 210 mm wide. Maximum final size of illustrations: 254 mm deep by 176 mm wide. Single column width: 84 mm. Mid-width figures (caption at side): 120mm. Number of words per page: 1000.

Tips for calculating length

Titles, authors and affiliations: for a short title and one author, allow 100 words; for a longer title and/or several authors and affiliations, allow up to 300 words.

Abstract: straightforward word count

Text: straightforward word count (1000 words = 1 page)

References: allow 54 references per page

Figures: single column – estimate ¼ or ½ page depending on depth of figure; for double and 1½ column figures – estimate ½ or 1 page depending on depth of figure. Landscape figures = 1 page

Figure captions: straightforward word count unless it is a 1½ column figure, in which case don't include caption in count.

Tables: across one column (max total 65 characters width including three character space between each column) – estimate ¼ or ½ page depending on length of table; across two columns – estimate ½ or 1 page depending on the length of the table. Landscape tables = 1 page.

Colour charges

From 2018 there will be no charges for colour figures in this journal.

Open Access publishing

Authors may choose to make their article fully Open Access (sometimes called ‘Gold Open Access’) on payment of an Article Processing Charge. For Scottish Journal of Geology the APC is £1000/$2000. There is a 50% discount for articles where all the authors are at a research institution in a developing country. More information on the Society’s policy can be found at More information on the Society’s policy can be found at

You can select Open Access when you submit your article online. You do not need to pay until after your article is accepted. There will be a link to the payment authorization form in the acceptance letter.

If you require Open Access but cannot pay the APC, the Geological Society also supports ‘Green Open Access’, where you can post your final post-refereed version of the article to a website or repository 12 months after the online publication date.

Authors must not post a typeset proof or final version to any website or repository unless the article is fully Open Access.

Book reviews

As space permits, the Journal will publish independent reviews of printed works that have a clear relevance to the geology of Scotland.


Discussions on papers that have already appeared in the journal are acceptable. Discussions should be submitted within a year of the publication of the article discussed. Discussions should be succinct, written in an objective and scientific manner, and ideally about 1000 words in length. Discussions should be submitted online as described above. Please ensure that you include your own address and all the references that you cite, even if they were in the original paper.

Discussions should add something to the debate and not be just an additional observation.

Refereeing and editing

SJG aims to review and publish papers as rapidly as possible.

The scientific editor will send your paper to at least two referees. The scientific editor will handle the papers through the reviewing and scientific editing procedure and approve the finalized script for publication. We expect the reviewing and editing procedure to take about four to five months in the case of a paper requiring little revision. We are of course dependent on the goodwill of unpaid reviewers to achieve these targets.

You can keep track of this process through the online submissions package.


The Production Editor will write to the corresponding author notifying them of when the paper is due to be published. The paper will be copyedited and then sent to an external typesetter. Proofs will be sent to you by email. We do not generally send revised proofs to the author. The production process takes 6–8 weeks from acceptance to online publication.


You will be emailed instructions on how to download a PDF of your paper from the online version of the journal. Paper offprints can be ordered; instructions will be sent with the proof email.

Keeping in touch

GSL produces a regular author email newsletter (about 6 times each year). If you would like to receive this, please contact our marketing department ( You do not have to be a published author to sign up. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Journal Metrics

  • Impact Factor: 0.788
  • 5yr IF: 0.750
  • SJR: 0.595

Information on Metrics